The Colour of Rain – Publishing on 21st February 2024 – pre order your copy now


‘Whether she is being a willow or imagining a sister, considering miracles, or reflecting upon family, Susan Utting’s poems are never less than delicately wrought, with a lovely ability to open out their language like Japanese flowers placed in a bowl of water. There is much arboreal meditation here, around which this poet weaves a deeply felt empathy with nature; there are dreamscapes, and portraits of animals and birds; there are  witty encounters with weather.  Beautifully observant throughout, and often employing an intent edge to their perceptions, these poems draw the reader most adeptly in to their realised world’ –  Penelope Shuttle

‘Susan Utting’s gloriously gathered language susurrates across the page like a spell. With it, she lifts up a corner of ourselves, reminding us of the menace of childhood landscapes, and the fairytale-dark memories we might have left buried there. But these wise and emotionally generous poems are also an incantation for healing, and she shows us how the walls we build around ourselves can be dismantled by the salve inherent in nature’s fundamentals – trees, sea, sky, snow, “the world’s rainbow”’ – Dawn Gorman

Available on backorder

SKU: 9781915048158 Categories: , , Tags: ,


The Colour of Rain is Susan Utting’s fifth full collection, following her New and Selected, Half the Human Race. Here she demonstrates a new-found intimacy with the natural world, a closeness that leads her to become part of it. She ‘becomes’ a Willow Sister, joins an avenue of poplars, has conversations with bees. And while nature is joyfully celebrated, poems also lament its losses: felled trees, disappearing species, Rachel Carson’s all too present ‘Silent Spring’.

The poet’s trademark musicality and dancing rhythms are in evidence throughout the collection’s four sections. Her fascination with language, its sounds and resonances, demonstrate reviewer Philip Gross’s comment that ‘Utting unashamedly loves language, and it seems to love her back.’

From reviews of previous work:

‘Utting animates life’s brittle edges and her poems carry unforced  emotional weight.’ — Moniza Alvi

‘Susan Utting is a poet who deeply understands the ritual power of words; her gift is to match this with her keen perception of the rituals inherent in human behaviour. Beyond the attractions of their sensuous diction her finest poems accomplish a strikingly steady focus, both compassionate and uncompromising.’ — Elizabeth Garrett

‘These poems shimmy in the mind long after closing the cover.’ — Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

Susan Utting.  Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 68 pages, February 2024.

About the author: Susan Utting was born in South London, moved twenty times in forty years, then settled, after a fashion, in Berkshire. After a patchy education (she failed the eleven plus) and a series of undemanding jobs, she was persuaded by an employer to apply to Reading University to read English. She gained a first-class degree, went on to study Creative Writing at Sussex University, which she then taught at Reading and Oxford Universities for more than 17 years. She is the founder of Reading’s long-running, acclaimed Poets’ Café, which she still regularly hosts. Her awards include an Arts Council Laureateship, a Poetry Business Prize, The Berkshire Poetry Prize, The Peterloo Prize, and a writing fellowship at Reading’s School of English and American Literature. She was a winner in the Bristol International Short Story Competition for 2018, and she was selected by the London Poetry Library to be recorded for Poetry International at the South Bank Centre.

Also by Susan Utting:



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Colour of Rain – Publishing on 21st February 2024 – pre order your copy now”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.